Brute

by Michael Ryerson

I met General Krulak just once, very briefly, in Vietnam. After about thirty hours ‘in the saddle,’ with mud caked up to my knees, I emptied a canteen of warm water over my face and laid down in the shade under a parked truck and went to sleep.

Soon I heard voices and opened my eyes slightly to see what was going on, only to find several sets of legs standing right next to the truck, maybe two feet from my head.

The tone and vocabulary of the conversation told me they were officers, and without thinking, I stood up, blinking madly, only to come face to face with a short guy with stars on his collar and a surprised look on his face. He was about 5’2″ with ‘command presence’ oozing out of every pore.

I had bumped him slightly when I got up and I muttered ‘sorry, sir.

He looked me up and down and said quietly, ‘Go back to sleep, Marine.’ Then he turned to the others and said, ‘let’s move over here,’ and led them away from the truck.

 

Not much of a story, really, more of an anecdote. I wrote it on the occasion of General Krulak’s passing.

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